Welcome To Copiague News


helicopter crash11st Precinct officers secure crash site.
helicopter crash2It’s a miracle that they landed directly in the center of the intersection
helicopter crash3In the foreground is the  street sign shredded by the helicopters blades.

A helicopter flying instructor and his first time student pilot made a hard landing today at the intersection of East Buena Vista and Alhambra Ave. in the American Venice. The Robinson 22 a 2 man helicopter was heading back to Republic Airport when it lost power at around 11:56am . and crashed in the middle of the intersection. Miraculously there were no injuries and minimal property damage. The helicopter blade hit a street sign shearing it like it was paper. Suffolk County Police Dept. and the Copiague Fire Dept. responded immediately.

A Teacher of ASSET in Copiague

Copiague ASSET Mullins Great Neck Road Elementary School third-grade teacher Jeanie Mullins at the Association of Suffolk County Supervisors for Educational Technology recognition ceremony.

Jeanie Mullins, a third-grade teacher at Great Neck Road Elementary School in the Copiague School District, was among 14 educators honored by the Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technology (ASSET) during a special ceremony on Jan. 13.

Nominated by Great Neck Road Principal Karla Cangelosi, Mullins was one of the first teachers in Copiague to pilot a 1:1 classroom environment with tablet computing devices. As noted in Cangelosi’s letter of nomination, Mullins has established routines and procedures in her classroom, which allow the students to be responsible for their individual tablets. On a daily basis, she incorporates a wide variety of apps and programs into her instruction such as Google Classroom, Google Drive, QR Code, BrainPOP and various reading materials.

“She has embraced this challenge and has brought learning to an entire new level for her students,” said Cangelosi. “All of the children are able to participate and progress because of the instructional differentiation she has put in place using the tablets. Mrs. Mullins is an inspiration to all.”


Copiague Community Unites for Inaugural IAB Meeting

Copiague IAB Meeting

      Attendees participated in a small group discussion during the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Industry Advisory Board meeting.

On Jan. 25, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School welcomed local business people, members of the community, parents, students, members of the Board of Education, teachers and administrators to the school’s first Industry Advisory Board (IAB) meeting. An IAB is a group of people dedicated to providing advice and resources related to the career development of all students.

To begin the event, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta afforded words of welcome as well as shared the purpose and mission of the school’s IAB. “The Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Industry Advisory Board is being created to promote partnerships between businesses and our district,” said Agosta. “Working together, we can provide opportunities for our students that will support and develop 21st century skills. Today we take the first step in the development of a lasting partnership that will prepare our students for the workforce.”

Following the introduction, attendees gathered into small groups where they discussed four questions that related to a student’s preparation for the workforce. These questions focused on the skills millennials need to enter the job market in the 21st century, the biggest obstacles millennials face when entering the workforce, how students can prepare themselves in and outside of the classroom and what schools should be doing to help students be workforce ready.

After 15 minutes of discussion, attendees reunited to share what their small group discussed.


Exploring Literacy Through the Forest

Copiague DGE Literacy Night Photo1(1)

Students listened as teacher Maritza Winkler read the story, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” by Michael Rosen during the school’s literacy night.

During the school’s literacy night on Jan. 21, students in grades K-2 at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School in the Copiague School District participated in an interactive read aloud and craft activity.

Teachers welcomed students as they arrived to the event dressed in their favorite pajamas and slippers. To the students’ excitement, they received a sneak peak into the book they would read as they walked down the hallway through colorful streamers that represented the forest, grass, snowstorm and mud.

To kick off the night, teachers read the book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” by Michael Rosen. As they listened to the story, students used arm motions and made sounds that went along with the words in the book. Following the read aloud, teachers led the students through a sequencing activity.

Inspired by the story, students used crayons, construction paper, popsicles and paper plates to create their own handheld mask in the shape of a bear face.


Copiague Students Celebrate College and Career Readiness

 Copiague College and Career Day Photo1(1)

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students wore college apparel and held their College and Career Day string backpack.

Excited for the bright future that lies ahead, students in the Copiague School District celebrated their annual College and Career Day on Jan. 15.

While dressed in apparel from their college alma mater, teachers throughout the district infused college and career readiness concepts into their lessons for the day. Copiague’s youngest students participated in numerous college/career-themed activities and were visited by a variety of professionals including a firefighter, doctor and veterinarian. During the visit, professionals shared information about their career and answered students’ questions. To educate them on the types of responsibilities they will face at the college level, students were instructed to create their “college schedule” and learned about paying for college.

At the middle and high schools, students completed assignments as well as engaged in class discussions about college and career topics. In addition, Copiague alumni visited high school students to share their experiences in college and gave advice on visiting and applying to colleges. To show unity and school spirit, teachers in each department at the high school decorated a bulletin board to represent the college and career readiness theme.

To commemorate the celebration, each student in grades K-12 received a string backpack with the district’s College and Career logo, which reads, “Who will be college/career ready, I will!”

Copiague College and Career Day Photo2(1)Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon worked with students at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School as they completed their “My Next Move Interest Profile.”
Copiague College and Career Day Photo3Copiague students at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School proudly showed off their new College and Career Day string backpacks.

1,000 Career Points and Counting

Copiague HS Moore 1000 PointDirector of Physical Education and Athletics Peter Cesare and girls’ varsity basketball coach Carole Olsen present Mikaiya Moore with an award basketball.

Mikaiya Moore, a senior at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School and captain of the girls’ varsity basketball team, joined an elite group of seven female athletes who have scored 1,000 points or more while on the Copiague girls’ varsity basketball team. During a dueling game against West Babylon on Dec. 12, Moore scored her 1,000-point basket.

Beginning her basketball career on the varsity team in eighth-grade and now as a captain, Moore has been a valued player and leader for her teammates. As a result to an unfortunate ACL injury, Moore missed one and a half basketball seasons. Over the span of the three athletic seasons she played, Moore has scored 1,182 points with that number continuing to grow. Her overall points put her in sixth out of the seven other female athletes who completed this feat. In addition to her exceptional athletic skills, Moore is a dedicated student in the classroom, taking challenging Advanced Placement courses with an overall 85 average.

“I am honored to coach such a hard working and dynamic young lady,” said Copiague girls’ varsity basketball coach Carole Olsen. “Mikaiya is a great stretch-four who can drive and finish at the rim. She is a very special player.”

At the girls’ varsity basketball game on Dec. 15, Director of Physical Education and Athletics Peter Cesare and girls’ varsity basketball coach Carole Olsen presented Moore with an award basketball for her milestone achievement.


David Bowie Dies at 69

bowieCopiagueNews Webmaster Ralph Soluri with David Bowie.

I met Bowie years ago. Home computers were new thing and David Bowie was building his website. My buddy Kevin Mazur who was photographing him told him that I was a fan and I had a computer. Bowie gave Kevin his web site address. Kevin then gave it to me and I had trouble accessing it. I came home one Day and my message machine was flashing I retrieved the message and it was him, the man, David Bowie. ” Hello Ralph, this is Elvis, no actually Ralph it’s David Bowie,” he went on to give me step by step directions on how to accesses the website.

About a six months later I was backstage at a Bowie show. There he stood, right in front of me. He was speaking to another gentleman and I was just standing there inconspicuously starring at one of my idols. When he finished this conversation the gentleman walked away leaving me alone with “The Thin White Duke”. He looked at me and nodded his head. Not wanting to get the celebrity version, I approached him as a normal guy instead of a fan. ” I have a beef with you,” I said. He looked back at me with a slight look of fear in his eyes, I continued with ” you called my house and left me a message saying you were Elvis. With a memory that stunned me he busted out laughing and said ” Ralph?, That was Kevin”. He threw Mazur right under the bus.

We talked for a while and I was so proud and happy that a guy that I idolized was truly a great guy. About a year later I took my wife to another Bowie show. It was an intimate setting and a great show. At one point in the show, Bowie held a note that filled that intimate room, I turned to my wife and with pride, said “That’s my Boy”. She gave me a look like I was crazy. After the show we were invited to a meet and greet. There was about 40 people and when the door opened from across the room out came Mr. David Bowie. He spotted me, called out “RALPH”, threw his arms open and rushed me with a hug. This musical genius actually remembered me, and even my name. I was ecstatic. As he released me from his bear hug, I said to him, ” Dave this is my wife Mercedes, Mercedes this is My Boy Dave”. RIP my friend

Boy Scout Honored for Heroism

 Spadone                Walter G. O’ Connell Copiague High School junior Matthew Spadone was honored by the town and various organizations for his heroic actions.

With his quick response to what could have been a horrible accident, Matthew Spadone, a junior at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School and member of Boy Scout Troop 2000, became a hero after he brought a woman, hurt in the middle of Montauk Highway, to safety.

Spadone was on his way home from Tanner Park when he witnessed a motorcycle with two people riding west on Montauk Highway get cut off by a sedan. This caused the motorcycle to swerve into oncoming traffic and the passenger was tossed off the motorcycle, with the back tire running over her leg. Seeing the woman scream in pain on the ground, Spadone quickly rushed to her side to help move her off the road.

A bystander who witnessed the incident called the Copiague Fire Department and the passenger was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center. While on the way to the hospital, the passenger informed the ambulance driver of the young man who helped pull her onto the sidewalk and described his appearance. The driver recalled seeing Spadone at the scene and recognized him as his neighbor, and contacted Spadone at his home.

For his heroic act, Spadone was bestowed with the Town of Babylon’s Highest Honor – the Heroism Award. He also received awards from the Copiague Fire Department, Boy Scouts of America and Copiague Youth League.

“I did not expect to be honored,” said Spadone. “I am happy I was able to help the woman and she is okay.”

As an active member of his school community, Spadone plays on the soccer, lacrosse and bowling teams. He aspires to become an earth science teacher.


Copiague DECA Students Excel at Regional Competition

Club Walter G. O’Connell High School first-place winners in the Distributive Education Club of America (DECA) Regional Competition with advisor Louise Curci (right).      

            Each year, members of the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Distributive Education Club of America (DECA) compete against high school students from throughout Long Island in the DECA Regional Competition. Under the advisement of Louise Curci, Copiague students excelled in the competition this year in multiple categories with nine first-place winners. These students now qualify to attend the DECA State Competition in March.

The district extends its congratulations to the following first place winners: Brianna Batista, visual advertising; Jade Dickerson, job interview; Victoria Kammer, wholesale selling; Amira Kemp, newspaper ad; Amorelle Pennick, public speaking; Peter McKenzie, public speaking; Marcus Weeks, public speaking; Sophie Wilson, broadcast advertising; and Rebecca Yackel, visual advertising.


Class of 2016 Top Ten

Top TenThe top 10 students in the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School graduating Class of 2016 (front row from left) Kasandra Hanson, Adrian Chochorek, Dawn Gioia, Karla Lopez and Marcus Weeks. (Back row from left) Joshua Mohan, Ethan Taveras, Maegan Tosun, Patricia Estevez, Axel Pineda-Portillo and Principal Joseph Agosta

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School has announced the top 10 students in the graduating Class of 2016. Leading their class are Valedictorian Dawn Gioia and Salutatorian Karla Lopez.

“The honor of being among the top 10 students in the graduating Class of 2016 does not come without a great deal of hard work and dedication on the part of the students,” said Principal Joseph Agosta. “What I find most astonishing about these 10 students is their unwavering desire to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Because they are intrinsically motivated, the top 10 students have matured into well-rounded students destined for success in their post-secondary studies and in life.”

Honored for her exceptional academic and athletic talents, Gioia was a recipient of the distinguished New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Suffolk Zone Physical Education Leadership Award, was named an Advanced Placement Scholar and received the Copiague Golden Eagle Award, given to one student-athlete on their sports team with the highest cumulative grade point average for the season. She is a member of the school’s National Honor Society, Art Club, Math Team, Science Olympiads and the spring track team. As her top two schools, Gioia plans to attend Fairfield University or the University of New Haven in the fall of 2016 with a major in business administration.
As an active member of her school community, Lopez is president of the One Mind Club and Ecology Club, vice president of the National Honor Society and a member of the Madrigal chorus, Tri-M Music Honor Society and Math Team. Furthering her educational career, Lopez hopes to attend Boston University or Bryant University with a major in finance.
Congratulations to the Walter G. O’ Connell Copiague High School Class of 2016 top 10: Dawn Gioia, Valedictorian; Karla Lopez, Salutatorian; Adrian Chochorek, third; Marcus Weeks, fourth; Kasandra Hanson, fifth; Maegan Tosun, sixth; Patricia Estevez, seventh; Ethan Taveras, eighth; Axel Pineda-Portillo, ninth; and Joshua Mohan, tenth.